Jewish Care Victoria's Staff and Volunteer Service & Excellence Awards were held at the Malvern Town Hall on 22 October in great spirit and ceremony.
The annual event started in 2011 and acknowledges the work of the organisation's 600 staff and almost 500 volunteers.
Bill Appleby, Jewish Care CEO gave glowing praise to all staff and volunteers, "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your ongoing commitment to the provision of dignified, haimish care and support, of our community. Every day, each and every one of you proves that hard work, dedication, resourcefulness and excellence, can achieve incredible things!"
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Jane Lothringer, a resident of Montefiore Homes who has also volunteered at every Jewish Care fundraising telethon for over 10 years. At 88, Jane is always around at every opportunity to lend a helping hand to other residents and at staff and community events.
The Samuel H. Harris award forexcellence above and beyond expectation was presented to Cameron Mackay, Jewish Care Chief Information Officer. Since joining Jewish Care in 2011, Cameron has transformed a tired and outdated IT and communications infrastructure into a best-of-breed solid operating environment across multiple campuses. A recent independent review highlighted that the IT Department was found to be the most cost effective compared to industry benchmarks as well as enjoying the highest levels of internal customer satisfaction across the organisation.
President of Jewish Care, Michael Debinski stated that the passion and dedication to excellence in service provision is part of a long-standing tradition of care for the organisation, "We are extremely proud to have staff and volunteers of this calibre as part of Jewish Care. Their contribution helps to build an inclusive community where everyone, regardless of age, background or ability, can contribute and thrive."
Berry Liberman, Co-founder of Small Giants and Publisher and Editor of Dumbo Feather magazine was the keynote speaker who inspired the audience with her stories and insights into what has motivated her to achieve her life's passions with a goal of changing the world we live in.
The evening closed with entertainer Josh Piterman, who is currently starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber musical 'Cats'. Starting with a jazzy rendition of 'Feeling Good', followed by a moving performance of 'The Music of The Night' from The Phantom of The Opera, and closing with the uplifting aria 'Nessun Dorma', Josh dazzled the room with his vocal range and charismatic stage presence.
Other award categories and winners included:
President's Award – Joint recipients Sammantha Hewitt, Organisational Development Managerand Melinda Kidgell, Program Manager Client Services
Ethos Award – Joint recipients Tamara Zeltsman, Lifestyle Coordinatorand Rabbi Yosef Nerenberg, Manager Jewish Life
CEO Customer Service Award – Ayal Tusia, Marketing and Communications Manager
Team of The Year – Holocaust Survivor Support Program
Professional Development Scholarships – Alfred Cherian, Prahran Grove House Supervisor, Maria Galivets, Personal Care Worker and Sally Anne Winters, Enrolled Nurse and ACFI Coordinator.
Ethos Mission Award – Marilyn Kraner, Manager Individual and Family Services and Mark Joel, General Manager Community.
Service Awards – Also acknowledged, were staff and volunteers who have given 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service to Jewish Care.